Written by Katie Elizabeth Robinson
It’s time to shine our spotlight on another of our talented and inspiring collaborators!
At One Wear Freedom, we are dedicated to championing the work of traditional artisans who are either reviving or preserving traditional ways of working, that have been passed down from generation to generation. Such ways often guarantee that items are unique and individually handmade which is a far more sustainable way of creating as opposed to the current process of Fast Fashion which produces grossly excessive amounts of clothes for buyers that might not even exist. This results in huge amounts of waste that either contribute to landfill or incineration.
It was only 3 years ago that luxury fashion brand Burberry finally promised to end its staggeringly harmful practice of celebrating all their unsold clothes from the season with a bonfire Guy Fawkes would be proud of. Okay, so they claim they were incinerated for energy capture but they were literally setting their poor, unsold garments on fire to “protect brand value”.
- They over-produced which is a huge waste of natural resources, energy and water.
- There was a huge amount of waste: in 2017 they reported a grand total of £28.6 million worth of unsold products (including clothes, bags and perfume).
- Incineration for energy capture (also known as waste-to-energy or bioenergy), is marginally environmentally safer than contributing to landfill, but is actually more harmful to human health.
That’s why, at One Wear Freedom, we are determined to stop Fast Fashion in its tracks and offer women an alternative. By extending the life of existing garments and partnering with independent artisans to create new ones, we can show you the beautiful, stylish, unique way!
Without further ado, here’s introducing AKINSANYA! The independent, ethical fashion brand of designer Jodie Akinsanya who’s Nigerian and Zimbabwean heritage inspired her to explore the diversity of authentic African prints and traditional methods of tie-dye to create one-of-a-kind designs for a worldwide audience online.
She embarked on an undergraduate degree in fashion design to hone the skills she knew she would need to launch a business making her own clothes, accessories and homeware. This didn’t happen overnight. After the intensity of studying fashion at university came some much needed and well-deserved rest. COVID-19 then threw another curveball at her when she lost her job but she got back up even stronger to fulfil her dream to strike out on her own.
Using all the fabrics she’d collected over the years from Kenyan, Ghanaian and Nigerian independent market vendors she began making garments and accessories. The heritage of these types of fabrics is deeply connected to the way they are used. Traditionally, the buyer will choose a specific fabric that matches their style, as Jodie personally does for her brand, and will commission a seamstress to tailor an outfit for a specific event. In Jodie’s case, she is the seamstress and is making this wonderfully circular and sustainable fashion process accessible for us online. Her designs are made to order so there’s no waste and you choose from the range of beautiful fabrics to really make it your own.
We are beyond excited and honoured that AKINSANYA has not only joined our Rental Collection but Jodie also kitted us out with her stunning accessories for our Summer Collection photoshoot. Let’s take a sneak peak at what else we’ve got coming our way.
First up is the stunning Onyeka Bell Sleeve Dress which will make the perfect addition to your summer look.
Statement bell sleeves are perfectly matched with a sharp, tailored skirt that can be cinched in with an optional tie around the waist.
The 100% authentic African cotton makes it a
light garment and we’re loving the use of florals to accentuate the volume of the sleeves and skirt.
Perhaps best of all is the off-the-shoulder neckline which means no tan lines so grab your hat, shades and sandals and strut into Summer!
If the weather of the past week has reminded the British public of anything it’s that we must always prepare for rain. Even when we get carried away thinking the sun is ours now and we basically live in Spain. Queue the Shiezel Kimono - every outfit’s best friend in fickle weather!
The 100% ethically sourced cotton makes it light and airy and it pairs with any outfit. In Summer we recommend matching up with the Chioma high-waisted shorts but on those nippier nights, try it with the Yewande trousers. Better yet, if you rent one of these outfits for a few days, you can start with the shorts or trousers, move on to a bodycon dress then pair the kimono with your favourite jeans to really make the most out of your time with your rental.
This is just a glimpse of AKINSANYA’s unique pieces in the One Wear Freedom collections so head over to check out how Jodie uses the beauty of her fabrics to transform her designs.
A spotlight on AKINSANYA, however, would not be complete without a look at the accessories range and Scrunchies. Are. Everything right now!
Going clockwise from top left we have the Double Layered Scrunchie in organza and satin available in 5 different two-tone colour combinations.
Confession time: just ordered two of these limited edition Velvet Scrunchies so get in quick before they’re gone!
From velvet to tartan, this is another limited design that is a must have for all of us who are nostalgic for the exact same one we had as a kid and are now kicking ourselves for throwing away!
Last but never least, this forest green scrunchie is one of 6 gorgeous colours that glide through your hair.
All scrunchies (except the double layered option), come in 3 sizes to not only perfectly suit your hair type, from fair to thick, but to match the vibe from the everyday to the (new favourite phrase), statement scrunchie.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, we’re very excited to announce that Jodie will be joining us on IGTV to talk all things AKINSANYA and sustainable fashion. She’ll be chatting with our fearless founder Jordache tomorrow so head over to Insta and turn on notifications so you don’t miss her! In the meantime, you can catch up with all of the inspiring women who’ve shared their stories with us so far over on IGTV.
Stay tuned into AKINSANYA too as the new Spring/Summer 2021 collection launches this Friday!